Written by Madeline Mayer, Mayyim Hayyim Intern
As my time at Mayyim Hayyim comes to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I love this organization. Here are the top 5 reasons (in no particular order) why this is such a great environment to be a part of.
1. Sounds of Joy– It is typical for a workday to be “interrupted” by sounds of joy downstairs as someone converts or marks a special transition in their life. It is not unusual to hear clapping and singing come seemingly from out of nowhere. Constantly hearing sounds of rejoicing brings to life the joy and comfort that people describe after immersing at Mayyim Hayyim.
2. Helping to make a community for all– In the modern Jewish world there is much effort to make the Jewish community a more welcoming place for everyone. All too often I hear men and women remark about how horrible their conversion experiences were many years ago. Mayyim Hayyim helps to ensure that people’s transitions to Judaism are as meaningful and welcoming as possible. No longer shall someone be rushed as they find the courage to take the final step in joining the Jewish faith. At Mayyim Hayyim, people are encouraged to take their time preparing to immerse and have a mikveh guide there for comfort and to answer any questions they may have. Mayyim Hayyim provides a welcoming place for all members of the Jewish community.
3. Working with a great group of women- Mayyim Hayyim’s staff cares deeply about ensuring that the organization runs as successfully as possible. All of the women in the office are dedicated to their work and ensuring the future of the mikveh. There are constant celebrations, from staff birthdays to welcoming new staff members, that make Mayyim Hayyim an incredibly meaningful and supportive community to be a part of.
4. Beautiful Environment- Walking into Mayyim Hayyim each day is a joy because of the beauty of the building—inside and out. As you approach the old Victorian home where our organization is housed you initially see beautiful landscaping– in the spring and summer there are an array of flowers in bloom. When you walk in the doors there is a serene entrance that makes one feel at home. In addition, there is a rotating art exhibit in our gallery that provides a new feel to the Paula Brody & Family Education Center every few months. The artwork is always different and adds a new vibe to the surrounding.
5. Learning about an ancient ritual- Lastly, it is such an honor to learn about an ancient ritual that I may not have ever learned had I not been introduced to Mayyim Hayyim. Mayyim Hayyim provides learning opportunities for people of all ages. Adults and children learn about mikveh each year because of the education programs that Mayyim Hayyim offers.
As I begin my first full-time job post-grad school, I will cherish these reasons that made my graduate internship at Mayyim Hayyim so wonderful.
Madeline Mayer hails from Leawood, KS. Later this month, she will complete her master’s degree with the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. She has been at Mayyim Hayyim since June and is working in development. Next year, Madeline will serve as the Development/Alumni Associate at Camp Ramah in New England.